May 10, 2018

Extraordinary contributions by extraordinary people

The spring season brings not only cherry blossoms to Penn’s campus, but also a host of distinctions and accolades to members of the Penn GSE community. Join us this year in recognizing and celebrating the winners of distinguished awards. From delivering first-rate service to our students, to achievements in research and scholarship, these Penn GSE faculty and staff members are making an impact.  

Here are some highlights, in alphabetical order, of the great news that has come our way. 

Amy Benedict, Director of Career and Professional Development, is being honored with the Lois MacNamara Award for Outstanding Service to Students. This award honors a Penn GSE staff member who has shown a strong commitment to being of service to students.

Amitanshu Das, Senior Fellow and Director of Penn GSE Films, received an arts integration grant from the Sachs Program for Arts Innovation for the project “Fiction Filmmaking with Trauma-informed Practice.” He will research and plan a year-long course where a team of Penn and high school students create and co-produce an original motion picture drawn from their own fictionalized lived and observed experiences.

Vivian Gadsden is this year’s recipient of the GSE Excellence in Teaching Award. This award is an annual honor presented to an outstanding member of the teaching faculty. Dr. Gadsden is the William T. Carter Professor of Child Development and Education and is the 2017 president of the American Educational Research Association (AERA).

Marybeth Gasman was awarded the Dr. Carlos J. Vallejo Memorial Award for Lifetime Scholarship by the Multicultural/Multiethnic SIG of the American Educational Research Association. The award recognizes a senior-level scholar whose scholarly career contributions to multicultural/multiethnic education have played and continue to play a significant role in shaping the field. Dr. Gasman is the Judy & Howard Berkowitz Professor of Education and the Director of the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions.

Abigail Gray, Senior Researcher at the Consortium for Policy Research in Education, was awarded a Fellowship by the Stoneleigh Foundation. Through her three-year fellowship, Dr. Gray is working with the School District of Philadelphia to pilot and scale evidence-based interventions for school climate, and to build systems to support ongoing work of this kind. Dr. Gray also serves as principal investigator of two ongoing federally funded studies in collaboration with the school district. She has received the 2018 Helen C. Bailey Award. This award recognizes an outstanding graduate of Penn GSE who has brought recognition and status to Penn GSE and the University of Pennsylvania. The recipient of this award must have made a distinctive contribution to the field of education and to Penn GSE, including but not limited to contributions through research, exceptional professional involvement, or publications. 

Michael Herzog, Director of IT at Penn GSE, received a University of Pennsylvania Models of Excellence Honorable Mention award in recognition of his work with the Institutional Risk Committee Information Security Program Team.

Diane Larsen-Freeman, of the Educational Linguistics division, was honored for her decades of scholarship in a recent publication: Complexity Theory and Language Development: In celebration of Diane Larsen-Freeman (Ortega, L., & Han Z.) (John Benjamins Publishing Company).

Sarah Schneider Kavanagh received a Spencer Foundation grant, part of which will fund a conference of leading teacher education scholars at Penn this May. The conference will bring together 20 to 25 of the nation’s leading teacher education scholars to build some common frameworks for research on teacher mentoring. Dr. Kavanagh is a research assistant professor in the Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Division.

Bobbi Kurshan, Innovation Advisor at Penn GSE and Catalyst, was named a top 100 influencer in State of EdTech 2017-2018: The Minds Behind What’s Now and What’s Next. (EdTech Digest). The EdTech Digest reporter recognized Dr. Kurshan’s 30+ years in the education marketplace and wrote, “Her always-innovative insights make for enlightening and timely reading.”

Laura W. Perna has received the Excellence in Public Policy in Higher Education Award from the Council on Public Policy in Higher Education. Dr. Perna is James S. Riepe Professor, Chair of Higher Education Division and the Executive Director of the Alliance for Higher Education and Democracy (AHEAD). Her research focuses on issues of equity and access in higher education.

The Consortium for Policy Research in Education received several awards for promotional work around their study, “#commoncore Project: How social media is changing the politics of education.” They were awarded two silver CUPPIE Awards from College and University Public Relations and Associated Professionals for their printed brochure and interactive media. CPRE also received a 2017 American InHouse Design Award from Graphic Design USA for using 3D technology to reveal key findings from the #commoncore Project study.

In addition to these awardees, Penn GSE would also like to recognize all staff and faculty who work tirelessly to make Penn GSE a welcoming and academically rigorous environment for our students. Your contributions are making a difference.

Thanks to all staff and faculty members who notified us of these awards. If we have missed any awards, please use this form to notify us of a new or missed award, and we will be happy to add it to this page.